How Do I File A Restricted Application For Spousal Benefits Only Online?

Feb 8 2017 - 12:15pm

Larry,
In April, 2017, I am going to file an online application for Social Security spousal benefits (SIB). (I will be 66 years old in July, 2017, and I will request that my spousal benefits begin at that time.) I've decided to file online to avoid the pitfall of encountering Social Security representatives who do not know the precise rules for restricted applications and the grandfathering provision, as determined by the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015.
My wife is 76, and she started receiving Social Security benefits a decade ago. We/I will not be affected by the Government Pension Offset or the Windfall Elimination Provision.
I have two questions:
(1) For the online application, what specific words do you recommend I use in the Remarks/Comments section of the restricted application?
(2) How specific does the date need to be for my SIB start date? That is, should I list July 1, 2017, July 2, 2017, or my exact birthdate (July 28)? (I'm aware the SSA treats those born on the first day of the month as qualifying for benefits in the previous month, and I don't want any mistakes on the filing of my claim date. That is, I want to ensure my claim date will coincide with my Full Retirement Age---NOT anything earlier.)

Thanks,
Bob

Hi Bob,

The specific language used to restrict the scope of an application comes from section D.2 of the following reference from Social Security's operations manual: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200204020. I would suggest using the remark 'I wish to exclude retirement benefits on my own record from the scope of this application.' There may also be a question in the application path that asks you if you wish to also apply for benefits on your own record, and you'll want to answer that 'No'.

You don't need to specify a particular day on which to begin receiving benefits. Social Security will consider you to be at your full retirement age for the entire month of July, so that's the month you should choose as your month of election to start spousal benefits.

Best, Jerry